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Essay Beispiele für den perfekten Essay ansehen

Veröffentlicht am 31. Mai 2021 von Lea Genau . Aktualisiert am 13. Februar 2023.

Ein Essay enthält immer die eigene Meinung der oder des Verfassenden zu einer bestimmten Fragestellung bzw. Thematik. In der Regel sind Essays zwischen 5 und 10 Seiten lang. 

Es ist wichtig, die 3 Teile des Essays ansprechend zu formulieren: 

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Inhaltsverzeichnis

Beispiel aufbau für einen essay, essay beispiel für die einleitung, essay beispiel für den hauptteil, essay beispiel für den schluss , vollständigen beispiel-essay ansehen , checkliste für einen gelungenen essay , häufig gestellte fragen.

Im Gegensatz zum Aufbau einer Hausarbeit hat ein Essay keine feste Gliederung. Die einzelnen Abschnitte werden lediglich durch Absätze getrennt. In einem Essay verwendest du kein Inhaltsverzeichnis oder einzelne Kapitel, ein Essay-Deckblatt solltest du jedoch gestalten.

Das musst du für den Aufbau eines Essays beachten: 

  • Einleitung : Essay-Thema vorstellen & zentrale These und/oder Fragestellung benennen 
  • Hauptteil : Gedanken strukturiert vorstellen (meist Pro- & Kontra- Argumente)
  • Schluss : Eigene Meinung verdeutlichen & Lösungen anbieten 

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Zu deiner Korrektur

Es ist wichtig, in der Essay-Einleitung in das Thema des Essays einzuführen. Du stellst die Fragestellung deines Essays vor und kannst deine These(n) vorstellen. 

Du kannst deine eigenen und/oder allgemeine Erfahrungen zum Thema des Essays  schildern. Außerdem kannst du bereits in der Essay-Einleitung darauf hinweisen, dass es zu diesem Thema verschiedene Meinungen gibt. 

Thema : Die Nutzung von Internetquellen in wissenschaftlichen Arbeiten

Die Nutzung von Internetquellen in wissenschaftlichen Arbeiten ist ein viel diskutiertes Thema. Es gibt keine einheitliche Meinung dazu, ob Internetquellen in Hausarbeiten erlaubt sein sollten oder nicht. Viele Stimmen sprechen sich eindeutig dagegen aus , andere appellieren für den Beitrag des Internets zur Bildung.

Auch meine Meinung bezüglich der Internetnutzung für Bildungszwecke war lange Zeit zwiegespalten. Meine Unentschlossenheit lag vor allem an einem Phänomen: dem Druck der Kritiker. Negative Meinungen gegen die Nutzung von Internetquellen führen dazu, dass wir uns beinahe dafür schämen, Internetquellen in wissenschaftlichen Arbeiten zu verwenden. Aber ist das wirklich so schlimm? Wenn wir ehrlich sind, spielt sich ein Großteil unseres Lebens im 21. Jahrhundert online ab und wir verwenden ständig Suchmaschinen, um schnell an sichere Informationen zu gelangen.

Vielleicht kommt es daher in der heutigen Zeit vielmehr darauf an, welche Internetquellen wir verwenden und vor allem, wie wir mit diesen umgehen. Es ist ein Umdenken in der Bereitschaft und dem Mut zur Angabe von Internetquellen notwendig. Eine Internetquelle sollte genauso selbstverständlich angegeben werden können wie eine Primär- oder Sekundärquelle.

Im Hauptteil des Essays kommt es darauf an, deine Gedanken sinnvoll zu strukturieren und mit Beispielen zu belegen. In jedem gelungenen Essay sollte der Zusammenhang zwischen den einzelnen Argumenten, die du für oder gegen eine diskutierte These einsetzt, zu erkennen sein.

Für jedes neue Argument nutzt du dabei in der Regel einen neuen Absatz. Kapitel gibt es in einem Essay nicht.

Die häufigste Art des Essays, den du in der Schule oder an der Hochschule schreibst, ist der argumentative Essay. Hier stellst du Pro- und Kontra-Argumente zum Thema bzw. zur Fragestellung deines Essays einander gegenüber und argumentierst für eine der beiden Positionen.

Jede Behauptung , die du in einem Essay aufstellst, muss mit einer Begründung und einem Beleg bestätigt werden. Nur dann wird die Behauptung zu einem glaubwürdigen Argument. 

Viele junge Menschen haben zunehmend weniger Lust, Fachliteratur zu lesen , da sie auch durch das Internet schnell an zuverlässige Informationen gelangen können. Besonders die Verwendung von Online-Fachlexika klettert steil nach oben . Im Jahr 2019 war jede sechste Literaturangabe in wissenschaftlichen Arbeiten eine Internetquelle. Diese Tatsache zeigt deutlich, dass Internetquellen einen wichtigen Beitrag zur Bildung leisten und es keine Lösung sein kann, sie einfach nicht zu verwenden.

Internetquellen in wissenschaftlichen Zusammenhängen zu verwenden, wird jedoch vor allem von Lehrenden häufig kritisch gesehen. Das Bestreben, im Internet abgerufene Quellen korrekt anzugeben, sei nach wie vor geringer als bei schriftlich vorliegender Literatur. Dieses Phänomen lässt sich an Fachliteratur bestätigen, die online zur Verfügung gestellt wird; diese wird seltener korrekt zitiert als das physisch vorliegende Buch. Studierende kennen mit Sicherheit das Phänomen: Es geht uns deutlich leichter von der Hand, einen Internetlink in ein Literaturverzeichnis zu kopieren und zu denken, wir hätten die Quelle korrekt zitiert. Internetquellen schauen wir uns vor Abgabe der Arbeit weniger genau an, als Primär- und Sekundärquellen. Woran liegt das? Wie können wir Studierenden das verhindern?

Am Schluss des Essays kommt es darauf an, nicht bloß deine zentralen Argumente aus dem Hauptteil zusammenzufassen. Anhand deiner Erkenntnisse bekräftigst du deine Meinung abschließend und ziehst ein Fazit. 

Für offene Fragen oder Problematiken bietest du Lösungsvorschläge an. 

Dass Internetquellen heutzutage ein fester Platz in wissenschaftlichen Arbeiten eingeräumt werden muss, steht außer Frage. In einem Zeitalter, in dem wir uns die meisten Informationen aus dem Internet beschaffen, kann die Wissenschaft dessen Nutzen nicht leugnen. Um die Kritiker zufriedenzustellen, sollte in Schulen und Hochschulen unbedingt der richtige Umgang mit Internetquellen geschult werden. Hierzu bieten sich Unterrichtseinheiten im Deutschunterricht oder Übungsseminare an Hochschulen an, in denen gezeigt wird, was eine gute Internetquelle ausmacht und wie diese korrekt zitiert wird.

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Damit du ein vollständiges Essay-Beispiel lesen kannst, haben wir dir ein Essay-Muster herausgesucht. Mögliche Essay-Themen unterschieden sich je nach Schulfach oder Studiengang. 

Das folgende Essay Beispiel belegte im Zuge der österreichischen Philosophieolympiade den ersten Platz. Das Essay-Muster zeigt vor allem , wie Perspektivwechsel und der Gebrauch rhetorischer Mittel in einem Essay funktionieren. 

Um dir abschließend die wichtigsten Aspekte zu verdeutlichen, die für das Essay schreiben wichtig sind, haben wir dir eine Checkliste erstellt. 

  • Eigene Gedanken und Meinung in Einleitung, Hauptteil und Schluss deutlich herausstellen.
  • Kreativer Einsatz der Sprache durch rhetorische Mittel: Rhetorische Fragen , Metaphern etc. sind erlaubt.
  • Beispiele und Perspektivwechsel verwenden, um die Lesenden anzusprechen: → Ich-Perspektive  – neutral – Wir-Perspektive  

Wenn du einen Essay schreibst, musst du deine eigene Meinung herausstellen und treffend formulieren.

Beispiele für die Einleitung, den Hauptteil und den Schluss des Essays findest du im Artikel zum Essay Beispiel . Außerdem geben wir dir ein vollständiges Essay Beispiel.

Ein Essay hat im Gegensatz zu einer Hausarbeit keine feste Gliederung und enthält kein Inhaltsverzeichnis. Lediglich ein Essay-Deckblatt ist vorhanden.

Der Aufbau des Essays in 3 Teilen:

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Genau, L. (2023, 13. Februar). Essay Beispiele für den perfekten Essay ansehen. Scribbr. Abgerufen am 22. April 2024, von https://www.scribbr.de/ein-essay/essay-beispiel/

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Essay and dissertation writing skills

Planning your essay

Writing your introduction

Structuring your essay

  • Writing essays in science subjects
  • Brief video guides to support essay planning and writing
  • Writing extended essays and dissertations
  • Planning your dissertation writing time

Structuring your dissertation

  • Top tips for writing longer pieces of work

Advice on planning and writing essays and dissertations

University essays differ from school essays in that they are less concerned with what you know and more concerned with how you construct an argument to answer the question. This means that the starting point for writing a strong essay is to first unpick the question and to then use this to plan your essay before you start putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard).

A really good starting point for you are these short, downloadable Tips for Successful Essay Writing and Answering the Question resources. Both resources will help you to plan your essay, as well as giving you guidance on how to distinguish between different sorts of essay questions. 

You may find it helpful to watch this seven-minute video on six tips for essay writing which outlines how to interpret essay questions, as well as giving advice on planning and structuring your writing:

Different disciplines will have different expectations for essay structure and you should always refer to your Faculty or Department student handbook or course Canvas site for more specific guidance.

However, broadly speaking, all essays share the following features:

Essays need an introduction to establish and focus the parameters of the discussion that will follow. You may find it helpful to divide the introduction into areas to demonstrate your breadth and engagement with the essay question. You might define specific terms in the introduction to show your engagement with the essay question; for example, ‘This is a large topic which has been variously discussed by many scientists and commentators. The principle tension is between the views of X and Y who define the main issues as…’ Breadth might be demonstrated by showing the range of viewpoints from which the essay question could be considered; for example, ‘A variety of factors including economic, social and political, influence A and B. This essay will focus on the social and economic aspects, with particular emphasis on…..’

Watch this two-minute video to learn more about how to plan and structure an introduction:

The main body of the essay should elaborate on the issues raised in the introduction and develop an argument(s) that answers the question. It should consist of a number of self-contained paragraphs each of which makes a specific point and provides some form of evidence to support the argument being made. Remember that a clear argument requires that each paragraph explicitly relates back to the essay question or the developing argument.

  • Conclusion: An essay should end with a conclusion that reiterates the argument in light of the evidence you have provided; you shouldn’t use the conclusion to introduce new information.
  • References: You need to include references to the materials you’ve used to write your essay. These might be in the form of footnotes, in-text citations, or a bibliography at the end. Different systems exist for citing references and different disciplines will use various approaches to citation. Ask your tutor which method(s) you should be using for your essay and also consult your Department or Faculty webpages for specific guidance in your discipline. 

Essay writing in science subjects

If you are writing an essay for a science subject you may need to consider additional areas, such as how to present data or diagrams. This five-minute video gives you some advice on how to approach your reading list, planning which information to include in your answer and how to write for your scientific audience – the video is available here:

A PDF providing further guidance on writing science essays for tutorials is available to download.

Short videos to support your essay writing skills

There are many other resources at Oxford that can help support your essay writing skills and if you are short on time, the Oxford Study Skills Centre has produced a number of short (2-minute) videos covering different aspects of essay writing, including:

  • Approaching different types of essay questions  
  • Structuring your essay  
  • Writing an introduction  
  • Making use of evidence in your essay writing  
  • Writing your conclusion

Extended essays and dissertations

Longer pieces of writing like extended essays and dissertations may seem like quite a challenge from your regular essay writing. The important point is to start with a plan and to focus on what the question is asking. A PDF providing further guidance on planning Humanities and Social Science dissertations is available to download.

Planning your time effectively

Try not to leave the writing until close to your deadline, instead start as soon as you have some ideas to put down onto paper. Your early drafts may never end up in the final work, but the work of committing your ideas to paper helps to formulate not only your ideas, but the method of structuring your writing to read well and conclude firmly.

Although many students and tutors will say that the introduction is often written last, it is a good idea to begin to think about what will go into it early on. For example, the first draft of your introduction should set out your argument, the information you have, and your methods, and it should give a structure to the chapters and sections you will write. Your introduction will probably change as time goes on but it will stand as a guide to your entire extended essay or dissertation and it will help you to keep focused.

The structure of  extended essays or dissertations will vary depending on the question and discipline, but may include some or all of the following:

  • The background information to - and context for - your research. This often takes the form of a literature review.
  • Explanation of the focus of your work.
  • Explanation of the value of this work to scholarship on the topic.
  • List of the aims and objectives of the work and also the issues which will not be covered because they are outside its scope.

The main body of your extended essay or dissertation will probably include your methodology, the results of research, and your argument(s) based on your findings.

The conclusion is to summarise the value your research has added to the topic, and any further lines of research you would undertake given more time or resources. 

Tips on writing longer pieces of work

Approaching each chapter of a dissertation as a shorter essay can make the task of writing a dissertation seem less overwhelming. Each chapter will have an introduction, a main body where the argument is developed and substantiated with evidence, and a conclusion to tie things together. Unlike in a regular essay, chapter conclusions may also introduce the chapter that will follow, indicating how the chapters are connected to one another and how the argument will develop through your dissertation.

For further guidance, watch this two-minute video on writing longer pieces of work . 

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Writer's Manual: Essay

Introduction

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An essay is an informed, reasoned, opinion paper, in which a question or thesis is advanced and carefully answered or supported. Compared to a research paper, an essay offers more freedom to develop your own argument regarding a particular issue.

Purpose and content of an Essay

The purpose of an essay is to inform, persuade, inspire or incite into action a certain target audience. It is important to define the topic of your essay clearly and to apply relevant insights from theoretical approaches and research results to support your own thesis effectively. This means you need sufficient knowledge to bring your point across. You should use a clear and interesting formulation (language and structure), and take into account the prior knowledge and interests of your audience.

Structure of an Essay

Compared to other text types, such as a research paper or a scientific article, the structure of an essay is less fixed. Usually, the author advances a question or thesis and guides the reader through several possible answers before arguing which answer is best. To prepare for writing your essay, it is therefore important to list all the facts and form a (general) idea of what others think of the subject. By using different sources, you will learn to approach the topic from multiple perspectives. Based on a selection of supportive and counterarguments, you can narrow your own viewpoint. Important here is the structure of your argument. A frequently used structure is the following:

  • The introduction has the important function of capturing the reader’s attention. It should encourage further reading and shape the argument.
  • These two qualities of an introduction are enhanced by the title of the essay.
  • The introduction of the topic is followed by the question or thesis central to your argument, and a preview of the contents.
  • To convince the reader of your thesis or answer to the question you pose, evidence is provided in the form of arguments. These arguments must be plausible. Try to explain, step by step, what is meant, so that the reader gains insight into how you have reached your stand.
  • To strengthen your position, it is also important to provide counterarguments and refute them.
  • First and foremost, the conclusion contains the part of your text in which the main points are very briefly summarised, rephrased and tied together. The latter is extremely important: the cohesion between the different parts of your argumentation must be clear to the reader.
  • Based on this you confirm your thesis statement or answer your question.
  • Finally, you try to captivate the reader’s attention until the end with a Parthian dart: the main point of your argument, wrapped in a catchy phrase or fitting quote.

Style of an Essay

When writing an essay, you are less bound to academic style conventions. However, be careful not to use an excessively personal or informal style, or forced humour. Furthermore, it is important to realise that titles and section headings not only fulfil an informative, but also a stimulating function. Study sample texts and/or ask your professor.

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A Harvard Referencing Generator is a tool that automatically generates formatted academic references in the Harvard style.

It takes in relevant details about a source -- usually critical information like author names, article titles, publish dates, and URLs -- and adds the correct punctuation and formatting required by the Harvard referencing style.

The generated references can be copied into a reference list or bibliography, and then collectively appended to the end of an academic assignment. This is the standard way to give credit to sources used in the main body of an assignment.

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How to write an essay: What's in this guide

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This Guide contains key resources for learning how to writ e an essay

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Essay writing: Introductions

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“A relevant and coherent beginning is perhaps your best single guarantee that the essay as a whole will achieve its object.” Gordon Taylor, A Student's Writing Guide

Your introduction is the first thing your marker will read and should be approximately 10% of your word count. Within the first minute they should know if your essay is going to be a good one or not. An introduction has several components but the most important of these are the last two we give here. You need to show the reader what your position is and how you are going to argue the case to get there so that the essay becomes your answer to the question rather than just an answer.

What an introduction should include:

  • A little basic background about the key subject area (just enough to put your essay into context, no more or you'll bore the reader).
  • Explanation of how you are defining any key terms . Confusion on this could be your undoing.
  • A road-map of how your essay will answer the question. What is your overall argument and how will you develop it?
  • A confirmation of your position .

Background information

It is good to start with a statement that fixes your essay topic and focus in a wider context so that the reader is sure of where they are within the field. This is a very small part of the introduction though - do not fall into the trap of writing a whole paragraph that is nothing but background information.

Beware though, this only has to be a little bit wider, not completely universal. That is, do not start with something like "In the whole field of nursing...." or "Since man could write, he has always...". Instead, simply situate the area that you are writing about within a slightly bigger area. For example, you could start with a general statement about a topic, outlining some key issues but explain that your essay will focus on only one. Here is an example:

The ability to communicate effectively and compassionately is a key skill within nursing. Communication is about more than being able to speak confidently and clearly, it is about effective listening (Singh, 2019), the use of gesture, body language and tone (Adebe et al., 2016) and the ability to tailor language and messaging to particular situations (Smith & Jones, 2015). This essay will explore the importance of non-verbal communication ...

The example introduction at the bottom of this page also starts with similar, short background information.

Prehistoric man with the caption "Since the dawn of man..."

Defining key terms

This does not mean quoting dictionary definitions - we all have access to dictionary.com with a click or two. There are many words we use in academic work that can have multiple or nuanced definitions. You have to write about how you are defining any potentially ambiguous terms in relation to  your  essay topic. This is really important for your reader, as it will inform them how you are using such words in the context of your essay and prevent confusion or misunderstanding.

Student deciding if 'superpower' relates to the USA and China or Superman and Spider-man

Stating your case (road mapping)

The main thing an introduction will do is...introduce your essay! That means you need to tell the reader what your conclusion is and how you will get there.

There is no need to worry about *SPOILER ALERTS* - this is not a detective novel you can give away the ending! Sorry, but building up suspense is just going to irritate the reader rather than eventually satisfy. Simply outline how your main arguments (give them in order) lead to your conclusion. In American essay guides you will see something described as the ‘thesis statement’ - although we don't use this terminology in the UK, it is still necessary to state in your introduction what the over-arching argument of your essay will be. Think of it as the mega-argument , to distinguish it from the mini-arguments you make in each paragraph. Look at the example introduction at the bottom of this page which includes both of these elements.

Car on a road to a place called 'Conclusion'

Confirming your position

To some extent, this is covered in your roadmap (above), but it is so important, it deserves some additional attention here. Setting out your position is an essential component of all essays. Brick et al. (2016:143) even suggest

"The purpose of an essay is to present a clear position and defend it"

It is, however, very difficult to defend a position if you have not made it clear in the first place. This is where your introduction comes in. In stating your position, you are ultimately outlining the answer to the question. You can then make the rest of your essay about providing the evidence that supports your answer. As such, if you make your position clear, you will find all subsequent paragraphs in your essay easier to write and join together. As you have already told your reader where the essay is going, you can be explicit in how each paragraph contributes to your mega-argument.

In establishing your position and defending it, you are ultimately engaging in scholarly debate. This is because your positions are supported by academic evidence and analysis. It is in your analysis of the academic evidence that should lead your reader to understand your position. Once again - this is only possible if your introduction has explained your position in the first place.

student standing on a cross holding a sign saying "my position"

An example introduction

(Essay title = Evaluate the role of stories as pedagogical tools in higher education)

Stories have been an essential communication technique for thousands of years and although teachers and parents still think they are important for educating younger children, they have been restricted to the role of entertainment for most of us since our teenage years. This essay will claim that stories make ideal pedagogical tools, whatever the age of the student, due to their unique position in cultural and cognitive development. To argue this, it will consider three main areas: firstly, the prevalence of stories across time and cultures and how the similarity of story structure suggests an inherent understanding of their form which could be of use to academics teaching multicultural cohorts when organising lecture material; secondly, the power of stories to enable listeners to personally relate to the content and how this increases the likelihood of changing thoughts, behaviours and decisions - a concept that has not gone unnoticed in some fields, both professional and academic; and finally, the way that different areas of the brain are activated when reading, listening to or watching a story unfold, which suggests that both understanding and ease of recall, two key components of learning, are both likely to be increased . Each of these alone could make a reasoned argument for including more stories within higher education teaching – taken together, this argument is even more compelling.

Key:   Background information (scene setting)   Stating the case (r oad map)    Confirming a position (in two places). Note in this introduction there was no need to define key terms.

Brick, J., Herke, M., and Wong, D., (2016) Academic Culture, A students guide to studying at university, 3rd edition. Victoria, Australia: Palgrave Macmillan.

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Basic essay structure

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Improve your writing

Organise your essays to demonstrate your knowledge, show your research and support your arguments

Essays are usually written in continuous, flowing, paragraphed text and don’t use section headings. This may seem unstructured at first, but good essays are carefully structured.

How your assignment content is structured is your choice. Use the basic pattern below to get started.

Essay structure

An essay consists of three basic parts:, introduction.

The essay itself usually has no section headings. Only the title page, author declaration and reference list are written as headings, along with, for example, appendices. Check any task instructions, and your course or unit handbook, for further details.

Content in assignment introductions can vary widely. In some disciplines you may need to provide a full background and context, whereas other essays may need only a little context, and others may need none.

An introduction to an essay usually has three primary purposes:

  • To set the scene
  • To tell readers what is important, and why
  • To tell the reader what the essay is going to do (signposting)

A standard introduction includes the following five elements:

  • A statement that sets out the topic and engages the reader.
  • The background and context of the topic.
  • Any important definitions, integrated into your text as appropriate.
  • An outline of the key points, topic, issues, evidence, ideas, arguments, models, theories, or other information, as appropriate. This may include distinctions or contrasts between different ideas or evidence.
  • A final sentence or two which tells the reader your focal points and aims.

You should aim to restrict your introduction to information needed for the topic and only include background and contextual information which helps the reader understand it, or sets the scene for your chosen focal points.

In most essays you will have a considerable range of options for your focus. You will be expected to demonstrate your ability to select the most relevant content to address your focal points.

There are some exceptions. For example, if an assignment brief specifically directs the essay focus or requires you to write broadly about a topic. These are relatively rare or are discipline-specific so you should check your task instructions and discipline and subject area conventions.

Below are examples of an opening statement, a summary of the selected content, and a statement at the end of the introduction which tells the reader what the essay will focus on and how it will be addressed. We've use a fictional essay.

The title of our essay is: 'Cats are better than dogs. Discuss.'

To submit this essay you also would need to add citations as appropriate.

Example of opening statements:

People have shared their lives with cats and dogs for millenia. Which is better depends partly on each animal’s characteristics and partly on the owner’s preferences.

Here is a summary of five specific topics selected for the essay, which would be covered in a little more detail in the introduction:

  • In ancient Egypt, cats were treated as sacred and were pampered companions.
  • Dogs have for centuries been used for hunting and to guard property. There are many types of working dog, and both dogs and cats are now kept purely as pets.
  • They are very different animals, with different care needs, traits and abilities.
  • It is a common perception that people are either “cat-lovers” or “dog-lovers”.
  • It is a common perception that people tend to have preferences for one, and negative beliefs about and attitudes towards, the other.

Example of closing statements at the end of the introduction:

This essay will examine both cats’ and dogs’ behaviour and abilities, the benefits of keeping them as pets, and whether people’s perceptions of their nature matches current knowledge and understanding.

Main body: paragraphs

The body of the essay should be organised into paragraphs. Each paragraph should deal with a different aspect of the issue, but they should also link in some way to those that precede and follow it. This is not an easy thing to get right, even for experienced writers, partly because there are many ways to successfully structure and use paragraphs. There is no perfect paragraph template.

The theme or topic statement

The first sentence, or sometimes two, tells the reader what the paragraph is going to cover. It may either:

  • Begin a new point or topic, or
  • Follow on from the previous paragraph, but with a different focus or go into more-specific detail. If this is the case, it should clearly link to the previous paragraph.

The last sentence

It should be clear if the point has come to an end, or if it continues in the next paragraph.

Here is a brief example of flow between two summarised paragraphs which cover the historical perspective:

It is known from hieroglyphs that the Ancient Egyptians believed that cats were sacred. They were also held in high regard, as suggested by their being found mummified and entombed with their owners (Smith, 1969). In addition, cats are portrayed aiding hunters. Therefore, they were both treated as sacred, and were used as intelligent working companions. However, today they are almost entirely owned as pets.

In contrast, dogs have not been regarded as sacred, but they have for centuries been widely used for hunting in Europe. This developed over time and eventually they became domesticated and accepted as pets. Today, they are seen as loyal, loving and protective members of the family, and are widely used as working dogs.

There is never any new information in a conclusion.

The conclusion usually does three things:

  • Reminds your readers of what the essay was meant to do.
  • Provides an answer, where possible, to the title.
  • Reminds your reader how you reached that answer.

The conclusion should usually occupy just one paragraph. It draws together all the key elements of your essay, so you do not need to repeat the fine detail unless you are highlighting something.

A conclusion to our essay about cats and dogs is given below:

Both cats and dogs have been highly-valued for millenia, are affectionate and beneficial to their owners’ wellbeing. However, they are very different animals and each is 'better' than the other regarding care needs and natural traits. Dogs need regular training and exercise but many owners do not train or exercise them enough, resulting in bad behaviour. They also need to be 'boarded' if the owner is away and to have frequent baths to prevent bad odours. In contrast, cats do not need this level of effort and care. Dogs are seen as more intelligent, loyal and attuned to human beings, whereas cats are perceived as aloof and solitary, and as only seeking affection when they want to be fed. However, recent studies have shown that cats are affectionate and loyal and more intelligent than dogs, but it is less obvious and useful. There are, for example, no 'police' or 'assistance' cats, in part because they do not have the kinds of natural instincts which make dogs easy to train. Therefore, which animal is better depends upon personal preference and whether they are required to work. Therefore, although dogs are better as working animals, cats are easier, better pets.

Download our basic essay structure revision sheet

Download this page as a PDF for your essay structure revision notes

Better Essays: Signposting

Students taking notes together

Paragraphs main body of an assessment

Female student working on essay

University of Adelaide home page

English for Uni

Essay Writing

Ms parrot: essay chef.

View the video, then try the essay exercises to test your knowledge! Watch the whole story, or see sections of the story below. All the videos have captions that you can view on YouTube.

View the video on the Chinese site youku .

View the individual video chapters

To view the individual chapters of the above video, you can either click the 'PLAYLIST' menu item in the above YouTube video and select the chapter from there, or, you can click one of the links below and view the individual video on YouTube.

  • Essay Chef - Introduction
  • Essay Chef - The cooking show
  • Essay Chef - Teaching
  • Exercise 1: Introductions
  • Exercise 2: Conclusions
  • Exercise 3: Voice
  • Exercise 4: Paraphrasing
  • Exercise 5: Referencing
  • Exercise 6: Academic Integrity

Download the transcript of the video or download the exercises in PDF format or as a Word document .

Essays in different academic cultures Teachers' notes

Essay structure

Essays help you discover more about a topic and write a reasoned analysis of the issues in question, using a range of external sources to support your position.

An essay is a highly structured piece of writing with follow a typical pattern:

Writing a good essay can be compared to baking a cake—if you do not mix the right ingredients in the right quantities or order, and do not follow the required processes, then the end result will not be what you hoped for! There is no set model for an essay, but the English for Uni website presents one popular way to do it. The following example is based around a 1000 word discussion essay. To read about essays in greater detail, download this PDF or Word document .

Topic/title

It is important for you to analyse your topic and title very carefully in order to understand the specific aim of the question. To do this, you need to break down the question. Most essay questions will contain these three elements:

Content/Topic words give the subject of the essay. Limiting/Focus words provide a narrower scope for the essay. Directive or Instructional words tell you how to approach the essay. Look at these sample essay titles from A) Economics and B) Nutrition:

A) Outline (directive or instructional word) the impacts (limiting word) of states (limiting word) and markets (limiting word) in today's (limiting word) globalised world economy (content words). B) "Chocolate (content word) is a healthy food (limiting words)". Discuss (directive or instructional word).

In example B, answering the question fully involves looking closely at the directive word Discuss and analysing its exact meaning.

Discuss: Present various points and consider the different sides. A discussion is usually longer than an explanation, as you need to present evidence and state which argument is more persuasive.

So, in your essay entitled:

“Chocolate is a healthy food”. Discuss.”

you would need to:

  • consider a number of points in relation to the title
  • balance your points between supporting and opposing positions
  • consider which of the positions is the most persuasive and explain why

You also need to consider the length of your essay. In a 2000 word essay you can cover more points than in a 1000 word one! This example is based on a 1000 word essay.

In relation to Content words your focus is clear: chocolate!

In relation to Limiting words, you need to consider what healthy food actually means. A good way to expand your vocabulary is to look at the Academic Word List (developed by Averil Coxhead at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand). The uefap website also has very useful lists of words found in particular subjects, such as mathematics, business and health science.

Directive or Instructional words

There are a number of directive words, or instructional words as they are sometimes called, which  tell you what to do in your essay. Some common directive words include:

Brainstorming

Brainstorming means producing ideas related to a theme. You can write the ideas down in any order.

Here is a possible brainstorm for the chocolate essay, done in the form of a mind map:

Brainstorming mind map

Text description of the above image.

Note that the central focus (the essay question) has several boxes linked to it which represent the writer’s first ideas. Other boxes area then added. A brainstorm like this is organic; it does not necessarily stop growing. You can add, remove or reorganise it as you wish. If you like to put more system into your brainstorm, use a step-based model such as the following:

Step 1 Time yourself for the first draft of your mind map Set a fixed time for this drafting from your base topic/question and stick to it.

Step 2 Look critically at your draft Which ideas could you develop or remove? Is there a balance of ideas?

Step 3 Think about ordering Which issues might you tackle first in your essay and why?

Step 4 Anticipate readers’ needs Are there any words and/or phrases that might need explaining? If so, when is the best time in the essay to do this?

Step 5 Move Reflect upon your brainstorming. Once you are happy with your brainstorm you can use it to plan your essay.

Researching for your essay

Once you have done some brainstorming, it’s time to get researching!

Remember that an academic essay requires academic sources.

Finding what you want takes time and effort. The best place to start (assuming you haven’t already been given a prescribed reading list!) is by using an academic database. If you are not sure how to use a database, then book an appointment with your subject librarian at your institution.

Another option is to use an internet academic search engine such as Google Scholar. N.B. Make sure you are logged in to the library at your educational institution, so that you can use the full database capacities linked to Google Scholar.

You need to enter keywords to begin with. For the chocolate essay, one of the first associations we thought of was chocolate and mood. If we enter these words into Google Scholar it will look like this:

Google scholar search with "chocolate mood" as the search term.

This will take you to a webpage which lists a number of relevant articles, like this:

Chocolate and mood Google scholar search results page showing the title, and below the description Cited by (number of times cited), related articles etc.

The first two articles have been cited 90 times and 103 times respectively, suggesting that they might be good sources for your essay. The links to the right indicate that you can access the articles through your university website.

If you think an article looks promising, click on the link and look at the abstract:

Abstract example showing download PDF link (press this if you want to download the full text), Recommended article links and the title of the article followed by the abstract. Reading the abstract helps you decide if the article is useful or not.

Read the abstract and ask yourself if the content of the article is likely to be relevant to your essay.

a) If yes, click on the PDF. This will take you to the full article which you can then skim read quickly to decide if it is relevant. b) If no, then you have a choice. Either click on the links to other related articles or go back to Google Scholar and then choose another article to skim read.

If you do not find what you are looking for, then you need to change your keywords search.

When you have found what you think might be useful, make a note in your plan at the appropriate place.

Do the same thing for all the points that need academic references to support them.

Remember that during your research you might discover new issues and perspectives that you hadn’t considered before, so your original plan might be quite different from the final one!

Planning your essay

Once you have brainstormed your ideas and done some initial research, start putting them into a logical order as part of the essay planning process. Brainstorming helps you to see what you know about the topic. Researching will give you more depth. Brainstorming, researching and planning are cyclical, which means that each process helps the other processes and you might want to do each process more than once.

Researching diagram: Brainstorming > researching > planning > brainstorming and so on in that pattern.

Here is the brainstorm for the chocolate essay again, which you can use to develop the planning process:

Read the text version of the brainstorming mind map .

Planning or a plan?

In the first instance, it is important to distinguish between planning and a plan . Planning is an ongoing process, from when you receive the essay title to when you submit your final draft. A plan is a physical outline of the way you intend to conceptualise, structure and present your ideas.

Plans can be structured/restructured at any time during the planning process.

At this point it is time to write your first plan. However, do not stop doing research yet. Why not?

Planning diagram: A plan helps you to put your ideas into a form which gives you a clear direction for your reading. Once you have written your ideas up into a plan, you are beginning to give a structure to the essay writing process in order to make your argument more coherent. You might surprise yourself by discovering you know more about the subject matter than you thought. This can help build your confidence.

Remember that a plan is just that—a plan. It can be modified after you do more research; you might discover some different perspectives or issues you hadn’t previously anticipated.

Example: Developing an essay plan after research (linear style)

Title:  “Chocolate is a healthy food.” Discuss.

Introduction Context for paper – popularity of chocolate. Issue – whether chocolate is a healthy food is questionable. Thesis – chocolate may be enjoyable but not healthy. Scope – (only 4 aspects are covered here to keep the example short)

Main body Paragraph 1 with possible sources Ways in which chocolate can impact positively on mood. ‘Feel good effect’ - Parker, Parker and Brotchie (2006), Scholey and Owen (2013), Macht and Dettmer (2006) and Macht and Mueller (2007).

Is the chocolate and improved mood scenario measurable/transient? Parker, Parker and Brotchie (2006) – chocolate mood effects do not last. Macht and Dettmer (2006) – anticipation effect and more studies needed.

Paragraph 2 Possible benefits of chocolate on cardiovascular health – how much/what type(s) of chocolate have benefit? (Sources needed to help answer these questions.) Problems with measuring correlation between chocolate consumption and cardiovascular health. (Sources needed to help answer this.)

Paragraph 3 Chocolate best viewed as a food or a drug? Indulgence or addiction – are the boundaries unclear? (See what external sources have to say on this) Medication elements of chocolate? (Readings needed around this issue.)

Paragraph 4 The correlation between chocolate and obesity. (Definition of obesity needed.) What does the literature say in relation to other causal factors?

Conclusion Summary of four arguments presented. Chocolate is not a healthy food, but it is enjoyable nevertheless.

Example: Developed essay plan (linear style)

Main body Paragraph 1 Ways in which chocolate can impact positively on mood. ‘Feel good effect’-Parker, Parker and Brotchie (2006), Scholey and Owen (2013), Macht and Dettmer (2006) and Macht and Mueller (2007)

Is the chocolate and improved mood scenario measurable/transient? Parker, Parker and Brotchie (2006) chocolate mood effects do not last. Macht and Dettmer (2006) – anticipation effect and more studies needed.

Paragraph 2 Possible benefits of chocolate on cardiovascular health – how much/what type(s) of chocolate have benefit? Can provide heart-friendly flavanols (Hannum, Schmitz, & Keen, 2002) – helps with blood clotting and is anti-inflammatory (Schramm et al., 2001) Maximising benefits of chocolate lies in minimising fat levels (Hannum, Schmitz, & Keen, 2002). Current processes destroy flavanols (Hannum, Schmitz, & Keen, 2002). Note the change of focus from the original idea (correlation between chocolate consumption and cardiovascular health) due to the lack of research data available.

Paragraph 3 Chocolate best viewed as a food or a drug? Indulgence or addiction – are the boundaries unclear? Chocolate contains some biologically active ingredients, but in small amounts (Bruinsma & Taren, 1999). ‘Chocolate addicts’ – negative correlation: chocolate consumption and mood (Macdiramid & Hetherington, 1995) but chocolate cravings sensory rather than addictive (Bruinsma & Taren,1999). Medication elements of chocolate? Used in relation to magnesium deficiency in women (Pennington, 2000 in Steinberg et al., 2003). Findings concur with Abraham and Lubran (1981) who found a correlation between magnesium deficiency and nervous tension in women. Note the narrow focus of medical benefits (i.e. only considering magnesium) due to the short length of the essay.

Paragraph 4 The correlation between chocolate and obesity. No specific correlation found in literature (Beckett, 2008; Lambert, 2009). Note the findings show that there is no clear relationship between chocolate and obesity – an issue flagged in the introduction. Typified by Mellor’s (2013) findings – adults showed no weight increase after chocolate controlled diet. Lambert (2009) exemplified that chocolate consumption alone unlikely to precipitate obesity. ‘Chocoholic’ more likely to consume other sweet foods and less likely to exercise as much as others. Chocolate consumption thus marginal in causes of obesity.

Conclusion Summary of four arguments presented Chocolate is not a healthy food, but it is enjoyable nevertheless.

Writing your conclusion

It might seem strange to think about writing your conclusion before you write the body of your essay, but unless you know where you are going you can easily lose direction. Also, the conclusion is the last thing the reader actually reads, so it needs to be memorable.

There are a number of questions you should ask yourself, such as:

How will everything finish? What are you aiming for? What final impression do you want your readers to have?

Your conclusion ties your essay together. It should normally:

  • Begin with a link to the preceding paragraph.
  • Restate your thesis and summarise your principal points.
  • End with a broad statement relating to the significance of your argument.

So, our chocolate essay conclusion should mirror this pattern.

The conclusion should not just repeat the ideas from the introduction. The introduction includes the background to the essay, the important issues and a thesis statement. The introduction leads your reader into the essay. The conclusion reminds your reader of the main points made in your essay and leaves your reader with a final impression and ideas to think about later.

Chocolate essay conclusion

The following conclusion has three parts.

(A) The first sentence links the conclusion to the discussion in the previous paragraph. (B) The following sentences restate the main points and reaffirm the thesis. (C) The last sentence is a broad statement relating to the significance of the argument.

(A) Obesity and chocolate consumption seemingly have no proven correlations. (B) Yet, in this essay, many chocolate focused arguments have been presented, including the transient effect of chocolate on mood and evidence that it is as likely to create feelings of guilt as of well-being.  Another possible positive dimension to chocolate is a correlation with cardiovascular health. Yet the potential benefits of flavanols in chocolate are currently offset by the high fat/carbohydrate content of most forms of chocolate. Whether chocolate is a food or a drug is also unclear. The literature outlines the chemical properties of chocolate which could help explain some addictive type behaviour, particularly in regards to nervous tension in women, but also there is a strong research focus on chocolate as a sensory-based indulgence. (C) It can therefore be said that chocolate is not a healthy food, but can be enjoyed as part of a healthy and balanced diet and lifestyle.

Writing the body paragraphs

At the heart of your essay lie your body paragraphs. Typically, a body paragraph will follow the format below.

N.B. Paragraphs should be balanced – keep to the ‘no less than 3 sentences per paragraph’ rule.

Remember to link all the points in your paragraph to the idea in the topic sentence. One way to check if you have done this is to write keywords in the margin for each sentence. If your keywords are related to the topic sentence, your paragraph is good. If there are ideas that are not related, you should remove them.

In the following example, the unrelated ideas are highlighted in red:

These unrelated ideas can be removed to make a more coherent paragraph:

It has been claimed that chocolate is a healthy food, but in fact it contains a lot of sugar, which can be unhealthy. For example, sugar can cause tooth decay, which can lead to dental problems in later life. Too much sugar can also lead to obesity, which is a serious health risk. In addition, sugar contains a high amount of fructose, which is bad for the liver. The amount of sugar contained in chocolate means, therefore, that chocolate, particularly milk and white chocolate, may not be healthy.

You can then add examples and references to make your paragraph stronger.

Here is an example:

Essay writing: example paragraph

View the text description of the above body paragraph example .

Writing your introduction

Once you have drafted your main body paragraphs and your conclusion, it is time to draft your introduction.

Writing your introduction last means you are more likely to have a tighter fit between the introduction, main body and conclusion because you already know what your essay will be about.

Let us have another look at the functions of an introduction:

B ackground statement — where you set the context for your essay I ssue(s) — where you outline the specific issues that are relevant to your essay. T hesis — where you state your position in relation to the issues. S cope — where you outline what exactly is going to be covered in relation to your argument.

The thesis and scope are sometimes combined to form one or more sentences known as a thesis statement . The thesis statement often comes at the end of the introduction, although it can be written earlier.

Sometimes an essay will begin with a direct quote to draw readers into the essay.

Sometimes, particularly in very short essays, the essay will begin with an issue rather than a background statement.

Essays also sometimes begin with an issue, outline the scope and then move on to end the introduction with the thesis statement.

It is important to remember that there is not a fixed ordering for the introduction, though the BITS/BIST patterning is a very common one, which is why it is modelled for you as an example.

Example introduction

“Chocolate is a healthy food”. Discuss.

Writing references for your essay

When you are writing an essay you will need to include references to external academic sources.

Why do you need to reference?

  • To show respect for other people's ideas and work
  • To clearly identify information coming from another source
  • To distinguish an external source from your interpretation or your own findings
  • To support your own arguments, thus giving you more credibility
  • To show evidence of wide (and understood) reading
  • To avoid being accused of plagiarism, which includes copying another’s work, paraphrasing or summarising without acknowledgement, colluding with others and presenting either identical or very similar essays

What does referencing include?

A. In-text citations, which can take three forms:

  • Paraphrasing, where you keep the original author’s ideas intact, but just change the wording
  • Summarising, where you summarise the whole of the author’s work, rather than one particular aspect
  • Direct quoting, where you take a word-for-word copy of a short extract from the original author’s work, and include it in your essay, making use of quotation marks and page number
  • All of these need a reference in the text.

B. A reference list at the end of your essay, which includes details such as:

  • Date of publication
  • Publisher and place of publication (for books)
  • Journal name, volume and issue (for journals)
  • Internet address or doi (digital object identifier) for electronic sources

Referencing is integral to academic essay writing and shouldn’t be viewed as an ‘add-on’. When you are referencing, always use a referencing guide to help you ensure 100% accuracy.

Normally, when writing an essay at university you will be expected to use only academic sources. The following learning guide on source credibility will help you to determine whether an external source is academic or not.

The chocolate essay uses the American Psychological Association (APA) style of referencing, which is easy to distinguish from the Harvard Author-Date System, as the format is different:

When you are writing an essay and including external sources, more often than not you want the reader to focus on what is said rather than who is saying it. In that case the information comes before the author. For example:

Information before author's names:  Chocolate, processed accordingly, can be a provider of significant quantities of heart-friendly flavanols (Hannum, Schmitz, & Keen, 2002), which help in delaying blood clotting and reducing inflammation (Schramm et al., 2001).

Such citations are called information-centred citations.

When the focus is more on who is saying it then the citation is written like this:

Aurthors' names before information: ...Macdiarmid and Hetherington (1995) found that self-determined 'chocolate addicts' reported a negative correlation between chocolate consumption and mood, perhaps indicative of addictive or compulsive type behaviour.

Such citations are called author-centred citations.

Try and achieve a balance between both types of in text-references in your essay writing.

Reference list

In the APA style of referencing, the reference list has certain conventions that you must also follow. Here are some examples from the chocolate essay:

Writing references APA style explained

Text description of the APA style of referencing example above.

Don’t make referencing something you do just as an editing or proofreading activity. Include your in-text citations and reference list as part of your first draft.

An excellent website to help with your APA referencing is the APA Interactive tool at Massey University.

Redrafting your essay

Leave yourself enough time to look at your essay more than once. For a 1000 word essay you need at least three days to redraft your essay.

Always save each draft as a separate file; then you can see how your essay develops and improves.

Here are the sorts of questions you should ask yourself:

Redrafting your essay diagram

View a text version of the redrafting your essay diagram above.

You can also look at other checklists such as this one on editing your own work .

Let’s see how the writer of the chocolate essay redrafted their original introduction:

First draft example

View the text version of the redrafted essay .

Now compare the above with the final draft:

Since Spanish explorers brought back chocolate from the new world, chocolate consumption has become a worldwide phenomenon.  At first, chocolate, a derivative of the cacao bean, was consumed as a drink, only later achieving mass popularity in tablet or bar form. However, chocolate’s inherent popularity does not equate to it possessing healthy properties, as suggested by the title. The realities of chocolate are more down to earth; a number of these realities will be addressed in this essay. Chocolate has chemical properties that can influence mood and there is possible evidence for some positive impacts of chocolate on cardiovascular health. Yet, such positive attributes are counterbalanced somewhat by the argument that, in some instances, chocolate can be viewed as a drug rather than a food. Moreover, there is the possibility of some correlation between over-consumption of chocolate and obesity. Thus, it will be argued that despite chocolate’s positive effect in some cases on mood and the cardiovascular system it has also been linked to addiction and obesity.

Take your time and be careful when redrafting—it will be worth it!

Incorporating your own voice

How do you write in an academic way?

Voice diagram. Writing in an academic way: Being critical and analytical, making use of subject-specific language, being precise in meaning, citing sources to support your position and remaining as objective as possible.

Your lecturers will want to hear your ‘voice’ as they read your essay.

Imagine your essay as a kind of story. You are the principal storyteller, the internal voice of the writer, leading the reader through to your conclusion.

During the story, there are different voices that appear from time to time. These are the external voices (citations) that add substance to your story, providing detail and support for what you are saying and sometimes even giving an alternative perspective. The external voices can be divided into two categories in your essay: the direct external voice of an author (through a direct quote) and the indirect external voice of an author (through a paraphrase).

The reader needs to know at all times whose voice they are hearing. Is it your internal voice or the external voice of other authors?

You might wonder how you can include your own voice and still sound academic when you are writing about a subject area in which you have little (or no) knowledge. Including your voice does not mean that you should say ‘I think’ or ‘in my opinion’.

Here are some examples of the critical/analytical language that you can use as your own internal voice when you present other people’s ideas:

Let’s look at one of the paragraphs from the chocolate essay to see how the text is an interplay of the internal voice of the writer and the external voices of other authors. The internal voice of the writer is colour-coded in yellow; the indirect external voices of other authors (i.e. paraphrases) are coded in grey; and the direct external voices of other authors (i.e.  quotations) are coded in blue.

Voices highlighted in different colours to detail each voice type.

View a text version of the voice explanation above.

This is a balanced paragraph. The writer sets the scene at the beginning of the topic sentence and also links together all of the sentences, using their own voice to lead into content which is provided by the external voices.

Look at the same paragraph re-written, with the amount of the writer’s voice substantially reduced:

Voices: re-written paragraph

View a text version of the above re-written paragraph .

Here the writer is not ‘in charge’ of the paragraph, and it reads a little like a list. That is something your lecturers do not want to see.

When you are drafting your paragraphs, use a colour-coding system like the one used here. It will help you ensure your academic voice is clear!

When you get more confident in using external sources, you will gradually expand the language of your critical internal voice. The Phrasebank website at Manchester University provides examples of some more expressions to use when assessing external sources.

Proofreading and editing your essay

Editing focuses on the big picture elements such as overall structure, appropriate paragraphing and whether the question has been answered.

Proofreading has a micro-focus on the details of your essay, such as formatting, grammar and punctuation.

Everybody has their own personal style of editing and proofreading. You need to focus on the types of errors you commonly make by looking at the marker’s comments on your previous work.

Some people proofread alone; some get other people involved. Having others involved is a really good idea.

Fresh eyes can help you find things you might not otherwise have seen.

Here are some things to consider when proofreading and editing:

Proofreading diagram

View a text version of the above proofreading and editing your essay considerations.

The Purdue OWL website has even more detail on the proofreading process.

Submitting on time

Students regularly underestimate the time it takes to write an essay, in particular the planning and researching stages.

Before you begin your essay, have a look at the Massey University assignment planning calculator . You might be surprised how long the whole process takes!

As you can see from the assignment planning calculator, if you only start your essay a few days before the due date, you will have to do things too quickly.

If you think of the essay/cake analogy, you need time to mix all the ingredients properly, or the end result will not be what you want to share with others!

To write a 1000 word essay, ideally you should allow yourself about 3 weeks.

Let’s have a look at how an essay time management ‘cake’ could be divided into slices:

Writing an essay time management 'cake'

View a text description of the writing an essay time management 'cake' .

You can see that the biggest part of your time is spent on the planning/research elements and redrafting/editing/proofreading elements, which together should comprise around 60% of your time.

Have a look at another model to see what you also need to consider:

Time management: Work to a timetable, prioritise your tasks, follow a study strategy, know your best study times, make use of time fragments, organise your place of study, avoid procrastination, divide big tasks up into smaller ones, allow for time out, look after yourself.

Essay example

Here is the final version of the chocolate essay. You can also download a PDF version of the chocolate essay .

“Chocolate is a healthy food.” Discuss.

Since Spanish explorers brought back chocolate from the new world, chocolate consumption has become a worldwide phenomenon. At first, chocolate, a derivative of the cacao bean, was consumed as a drink, only later achieving mass popularity in tablet or bar form. However, chocolate’s inherent popularity does not equate to it possessing healthy properties, as suggested by the title. The realities of chocolate are more down to earth; a number of these realities will be addressed in this essay. Chocolate has chemical properties that can influence mood and there is possible evidence for some positive impacts of chocolate on cardiovascular health. Yet, such positive attributes are counterbalanced somewhat by the argument that, in some instances, chocolate can be viewed as a drug rather than a food. Moreover, there is the possibility of some correlation between over-consumption of chocolate and obesity. Thus, it will be argued that despite chocolate’s positive effect in some cases on mood and the cardiovascular system it has also been linked to addiction and obesity.

Consumption of chocolate is something that many enjoy, and there is evidence (Parker, Parker, & Brotchie, 2006) that high carbohydrate foods such as chocolate do have a ‘feel good’ effect. Moreover, Scholey and Owen (2013) in a systematic review of the literature in the field point to several studies, such as Macht and Dettmer (2006) and Macht and Mueller (2007), which appear to confirm this effect. Yet, as Parker, Parker and Brotchie (2006, p. 150) note, the mood effects of chocolate "are as ephemeral as holding a chocolate in one’s mouth". In addition, mood is something that is difficult to isolate and quantify, and aside from the study by Macht and Dettmer (2006) there appears to be little research on any longer term mood affecting influences of chocolate. Another point is raised by Macht and Dettmer (2006), whose study found that positive responses to chocolate correlated more with anticipation and temporary sensory pleasure, whereas guilt was also a statistically significant factor for many, for whom the ‘feel-good’ effect would be minimalised. As these authors stress, “temporal tracking of [both] positive and negative emotions” (p.335) before and after consuming chocolate in future studies could help in further understanding the ‘feel good’ effect and more negative emotions.

Another possible positive influence of chocolate is upon cardiovascular health. Chocolate, processed accordingly, can be a provider of significant quantities of heart-friendly flavanols (Hannum, Schmitz, & Keen, 2002) which help in delaying blood clotting and reducing inflammation (Schramm et al., 2001). Such attributes of flavanols in chocolate need to be considered in the context of chocolate’s other components – approximately 30% fat, 61% carbohydrate, 6% protein and 3% liquid and minerals (Hannum, Schmitz, & Keen, 2002). The key to maximising the benefits of flavanols in chocolate appears to lie in the level of fats present. Cocoa, which is simply chocolate minus the fat, is the most obvious candidate for maximising heart health, but as Hannum, Schmitz and Keen (2002) note, most cocoa products are made through an alkali process which destroys many flavanols. Optimal maximisation of the flavanols involves such compounds being present in cocoa and chocolate products at levels where they are biologically active (Ariefdjohan & Savaiano, 2005).

The biological makeup of chocolate is also relevant in determining whether chocolate is better viewed as a food or a drug, but the boundaries between indulgence and addictive behaviour are unclear. Chocolate contains some biologically active elements including methylxanthines, and cannabinoid-like unsaturated fatty acids (Bruinsma & Taren, 1999) which could represent a neurochemical dependency potential for chocolate, yet are present in exceedingly small amounts.  Interestingly, and linked to chocolate and mood, Macdiarmid and Hetherington (1995) claim their study found that “self-identified chocolate ‘addicts’” reported  a negative correlation between chocolate consumption and mood. This is perhaps indicative of addictive or compulsive type behaviour. However, as Bruinsma and Taren (1999) note, eating chocolate can represent a sensory reward based, luxurious indulgence, based around texture, aroma and flavour anticipation, rather than a neurochemically induced craving. Yet, it has been argued that chocolate is sometimes used as a form of self-medication, particularly in relation to magnesium deficiency. A study by Pennington (2000 in Steinberg, Bearden, & Keen 2003) noted that women do not generally meet US guidelines for trace elements, including magnesium. This correlates with earlier studies by Abraham and Lubran (1981), who found a high correlation between magnesium deficiency and nervous tension in women. Thus, tension-related chocolate cravings could be a biological entity fuelled by magnesium deficiency. Overall, however, it would appear that the proportion of people using chocolate as a drug rather than a food based sensory indulgence is small, though further research might prove enlightening.

A final point to consider in relation to chocolate is the perception that chocolate is linked to obesity. A person is defined as being obese when their Body Mass Index is greater than 30. The literature on chocolate and obesity has clearly demonstrated that there are no specific correlations between the two variables (Beckett, 2008; Lambert, 2009). This is typified by the findings of Mellor (2013), who found that, over a period of eight weeks of eating 45 grams of chocolate per day, a group of adults demonstrated no significant weight increase. As Lambert (2009) notes, chocolate consumption alone is not likely to cause obesity, unless large amounts of other calorie dense foods are consumed and this calorie dense intake is greater than needed for bodily function, bearing in mind levels of activity. The stereotypical ‘chocoholic’ seems more likely to consume many other sweet foods and be less likely to take exercise than other people, so chocolate consumption is only one possible variable when considering the causes of obesity.

Obesity and chocolate consumption seemingly have no proven correlations. Yet, in this essay, many chocolate focused arguments have been presented, including the transient effect of chocolate on mood and the fact that it is as likely to create feelings of guilt as of well-being. Another possible positive dimension to chocolate is a correlation with cardiovascular health. Yet the potential benefits of flavanols in chocolate are currently offset by the high fat/carbohydrate content of most forms of chocolate. Whether chocolate is a food or a drug is also unclear. The literature outlines the chemical properties of chocolate which could help explain some addictive type behaviour, particularly in regards to nervous tension in women, but there is also a strong research focus on chocolate as a sensory-based indulgence. It can therefore be said that chocolate is not a healthy food, but can be enjoyed as part of a healthy and balanced diet and lifestyle.

(Word count: 1087. This is within 10% of the word limit, which is usually acceptable. Check this with your lecturer if you are in any doubt.)

Abraham, G. E., & Lubran, M. M. (1981). Serum and red cell magnesium levels in patients with premenstrual tension. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition , 34 (11), 2364-2366. Retrieved from http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/34/11/2364.short

Ariefdjohan, M. W., & Savaiano, D. A. (2005). Chocolate and cardiovascular health: Is it too good to be true? Nutrition Reviews , 63 (12), 427-430. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2005.tb00118.x

Beckett, S. T. (2000). The science of chocolate . Cambridge, UK: Royal Society of Chemistry.

Bruinsma, K., & Taren, D. L. (1999). Chocolate: Food or drug? Journal of the American Dietetic Association , 99 (10), 1249-12. doi: 10.1016/S0002-8223(99)00307-7

Hannum, S. M., Schmitz, H. H., & Keen, C. L. (2002). Chocolate: A heart-healthy food? Show me the science! Nutrition Today , 37 (3), 103-109. Retrieved from http://journals.lww.com/nutritiontodayonline/Abstract/2002/05000/Chocol…

Lambert, J. P. (2009). Nutrition and health aspects of chocolate. In S. Beckett (Ed.), Industrial chocolate manufacture and use , (4th ed., pp. 623-635). London: Wiley Blackwell. Retrieved from  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/9781444301588.ch27/pdf

Macht, M., & Dettmer, D. (2006). Everyday mood and emotions after eating a chocolate bar or an apple. Appetite , 46 (3), 332-336. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2006.01.014

Macht, M., & Mueller, J. (2007). Immediate effects of chocolate on experimentally induced mood states. Appetite , 49 (3), 667-674. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2007.05.004

Macdiarmid, J. I., & Hetherington, M. M. (1995). Mood modulation by food: An exploration of affect and cravings in ‘chocolate addicts’. British Journal of Clinical Psychology , 34 (1), 129-138. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8260.1995.tb01445.x

Mellor, D. D. (2013). The effects of polyphenol rich chocolate on cardiovascular risk and glycaemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus (Doctoral dissertation, University of Hull, UK). Retrieved from https://hydra.hull.ac.uk/resources/hull:7109

Parker, G., Parker, I., & Brotchie, H. (2006). Mood state effects of chocolate. Journal of Affective Disorders , 92 (2), 149-159. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2006.02.007

Scholey, A., & Owen, L. (2013). Effects of chocolate on cognitive function and mood: a systematic review. Nutrition reviews , 71 (10), 665-681. doi:10.1111/nure.12065

Schramm, D. D., Wang, J. F., Holt, R. R., Ensunsa, J. L., Gonsalves, J. L., Lazarus, S. A., Schmitz, H. H., German, J. Bruce, & Keen, C. L. (2001). Chocolate procyanidins decrease the leukotriene-prostacyclin ratio in humans and human aortic endothelial cells. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition , 73 (1), 36-40. Retrieved from http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/73/1/36.full

Steinberg, F. M., Bearden, M. M., & Keen, C. L. (2003). Cocoa and chocolate flavonoids: Implications for cardiovascular health. Journal of the American Dietetic Association , 103 (2), 215-223. doi: 10.1053/jada.2003.50028

Academic integrity and plagiarism

‘Integrity’ relates to ‘honesty’, and academic integrity involves writing in an honest way, so that no one will think you are claiming that words or ideas from someone else are your own. This is very important in academic writing in western countries, and if you do not do this you might be accused of plagiarism, which is a serious offence at university.

Plagiarism means using someone else’s words, ideas or diagrams without acknowledgement.

Of course, when we write an essay we need to refer to other people’s ideas. We gave some of the reasons for this before:

Being a good writer involves using other people’s ideas to support your work. However, you should never forget to say where these ideas come from, even if you don’t quote the person’s exact words.

Include a reference in the text, where the words or ideas appear, and in a reference list at the end of the essay.

All the references in the text must appear in the reference list, and all the references in the list must also appear in the text.

There is a short video clip on plagiarism here and a wonderful Plagiarism Carol video here (click on ‘captions’ to get subtitles in English).

Another word connected to academic integrity is collusion .

Collusion means that you work with someone else and submit the same or very similar assignments without your lecturer’s permission.

For example, if you and a friend work together on an essay and then submit identical or very similar versions of the essay, one under your name and one under your friend’s name, that is collusion . However, if you are doing a group work assignment and your lecturer has asked you to work together and submit the assignment jointly, that is not collusion . Collusion, like plagiarism, has an element of dishonesty in it. People who collude do so secretly, as they know that the lecturer would not be happy.

People make genuine mistakes, so lecturers are usually very happy to advise you if you ask them.

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Top tips for writing your first university essay

28 October 2021

Moving from A-level (or equivalent) standard of writing to the expectations required for a degree might seem a little daunting, so to help, UCL student Saumark Bhaumick lists her top tips for writing effective essays.

Hand typing on a laptop

1. Set the standard 

Understanding your academic discipline in relation to your year is the first step to writing a great university essay.  A final-year history essay is going to be very different from a biology essay set for a first-year student.

You should identify what the basic requirements of essays in your field are. This includes common essay structure, tone, and referencing.

If you’re not sure on the answers to these, ask your module tutor for essay examples from previous first year students with similar work from relevant sources. 

2. Understand structuring

Now that you’ve identified what the expectation is for your first essay, you can begin to think about your structure.  To do this, consider what the word limit is. Using essay examples from step 1, allocate a rough percentage for each section in your structure.

For example, you may decide to give 20% of the word count for each main body paragraph, and 10% each to the introduction and conclusion.

3. Plan your essay

At this stage, creating a plan and allocating the appropriate time for each of the stages will really help you. Here’s an example:

  • Research two points for my main argument (3 days)
  • Research two points for my counter argument (3 days)
  • Write the main argument (1 day)
  • Write up the counter argument (1 day)
  • Write my introduction and conclusion (1 day)
  • Referencing and asking someone for feedback (1 day)

4. Research your sources

The research stage will most probably be the most interesting, and the most time-consuming.  Here you should focus on learning and building up your notes, so that when it comes to writing, you can simply reword what you’ve already found.

To do this, know which websites to use for sources (journals, papers etc.) such as UCL Explore , Google Scholar , JSTOR . You can also do this by asking your Module Tutor for recommended sites and databases.

Make sure to read through sources efficiently and track what parts are relevant to your essay question by making your own notes from these sources.

5. Write from your sources and reference correctly

Now you can use the most relevant parts of your research notes to write the essay.

Make sure you don’t copy your notes (created from the sources) word for word! You don’t want to plagiarise for a number of reasons, and UCL’s Turnitin System will find out. 

Add in the sources for each relevant idea to get references. You can reference properly at the end or as you go – both are fine – but make sure you have a rough way to keep track of which sources you’ve used!

Having identified which style of referencing you should use (e.g. Harvard, Vancouver etc.), you can use websites such as Mybib , Citethisforme or Mendeley to easily create a proper, error-free Bibliography and In-text citations.

Find out more about academic integrity at UCL

6. Get feedback 

If you have enough time for this stage, you’ve done well! It would be wise to send your essay draft to your Module Tutor or Personal Tutor and ask for some feedback. 

Nice job! You have written your first university essay. The good news? Every time you write one it gets easier, and you get better!

Photo by Corinne Kutz on Unsplash  

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Thesis statements

Most academic writing at university will require you to argue a position. This means including a thesis statement upfront in the first paragraph that concisely states the central argument and purpose of the essay. This video addresses the key features of a thesis statement.

  • Parts of an essay
  • Writing introductions and conclusions
  • Writing paragraphs
  • Making your writing flow

Academic writing structures may vary, but the main sections are the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. Here is an overview of what these sections contain:

Introduction

  • The introduction tells the reader what your writing is about.
  • Start by defining the topic and any terms which will be crucial for your discussion.
  • The introduction should also state what position you will argue and how you will do it. This is the thesis statement .
  • Use words and phrases which are in the assignment question to help the reader see that you are directly addressing the main issues.
  • It can help to write the introduction last. This is particularly helpful if you have not yet fully determined what your document is going to say and what your arguments will be.
  • This is the most important part of your writing. Begin each sentence with a "topic sentence" which is then discussed and explained.
  • Each paragraph must discuss a different point. Each paragraph should be a discussion on the point you have made in the first sentence.
  • Paraphrase or summarise the sources you have read in your research. If using direct quotes, ensure they are relevant and impactful. Evaluate what is being said. Never assume the reader knows what you are talking about.
  • Always reference any ideas you have used in your writing. 
  • Paragraphs should flow in an organised and logical sequence. One way to do this is by introducing the next paragraph (topic) in the last sentence of the previous paragraph.
  • Avoid repetition and rewriting another version of what you have already said.
  • Transition or linking words ,   such as  however, therefore,  and  although tell the reader about the direction you are arguing or when there is a change of direction.
  • Avoid using first person point of view.
  • Avoid slang or jargon (use academic language).
  • Avoid using long and complicated sentences. Make your point obvious and easy to read.
  • The work should read as one organised discussion, not a mix of unrelated information. Make sure each sentence in the paragraphs has a role in the discussion and contributes to the overall argument and topic you are addressing.
  • Restate what you planned to do in your introduction and discuss how you have done it. You should tell the reader that your discussion led to the conclusion that your thesis (argument/position) supported.
  • No new information should be included in the conclusion.

An essay introduction usually:

  • clearly states the topic that will be the focus of the essay;
  • offers a preview of main aspects that will addressed, or the particular angle that will be taken in; and
  • clearly articulates the position that will be argued. This is known as the thesis statement.

Consider this introduction:

Leadership has been defined as “the process of influencing the activities of an organized group toward goal achievement” (Block & Tackle, 2019 , p. 46). This essay compares and contrasts two approaches to leadership from Western and Eastern traditions. The first is Fayol’s Administrative Principles approach, considered to be one of the foundations of the study of Management. The second approach is Confucianism, which is said to continue to guide leadership and management across China and much of South-East Asia (Shih, Wong, Han, Zheng, & Xin, 2004). It will be argued that these two approaches share certain core values, and a critical understanding of both approaches can support management decision-making.

The first sentence clearly states the topic. Leadership has been defined as “the process of influencing the activities of an organized group toward goal achievement” (Block & Tackle, 2019 , p. 46).

The middle sentences preview the aspects that will be addressed and hints at the approach (compare and contrast). This essay compares and contrasts two approaches to leadership from Western and Eastern traditions. The first is Fayol’s Administrative Principles approach, considered to be one of the foundations of the study of Management. The second approach is Confucianism, which is said to continue to guide leadership and management across China and much of South-East Asia (Shih, Wong, Han, Zheng, & Xin, 2004).

The final sentence clearly states the thesis, or position that will be argued. This is essentially a succinct version of the response to the essay question. It will be argued that these two approaches share certain core values, and a critical understanding of both approaches can support management decision-making.

In any academic essay, the paragraphs should follow the key points that have been outlined in the introduction. Each paragraph then contextualises and expands upon these points in relation the thesis statement of the essay. Having a paragraph plan is an effective way to map out your essay and ensure that you address the key points of the essay in detail – especially for longer forms of essays and academic writing that students engage with at university.

An basic paragraph plan would generally contain:

  • The thesis statement (for an essay)
  • A topic heading for each paragraph
  • The claim of argument to be made in each paragraph (this will be, or will inform, your topic sentence)
  • The evidence that will be presented to support the claim
  • Summary of the conclusion paragraph

Consider this example of a paragraph plan:

Paragraph plans provide an overview of your essay and provide an effective starting point for structured writing. The next step is using this plan to expand on the points as you write your essay.

Getting your writing to flow.

In almost all cases, written assignments call for students to explore complex topics or aspects of an area of study. Any academic writing task  is an opportunity to show how well you understand a particular topic, theme or area. Usually this means demonstrating how various ideas, knowledge, information or ways of thinking are connected within the context of the task or area of focus. 

This means that successful academic writing presents ideas logically, and that there is high connectivity within the writing. In other words, the aim should be for writing to have high flow to help make the connections clear.

Three ways to achieve this include:

  • ensuring that there is good connection from one paragraph to another;
  • ensuring that there is good connection from one sentence to another; and
  • using transition words effectively to make the logical connections between ideas clear.

Flow from one paragraph to another

Topic sentences, or the leading sentences of a paragraph, play a key role in connecting the ideas of an essay. High-flow topic sentences should look to include three key elements:

  • An explicit reference to the topic of the essay.
  • A reference to the main aspect of the previous paragraph
  • An introduction to the topic of the new paragraph

Consider the following examples of topic sentences in response to an essay question about Virtue Ethics.

A low-flow topic sentence : Aristotle defined phronesis as practical wisdom.

This sentence does not reference the topic (virtue ethics), nor does it link to an idea from a previous paragraph. It does however, introduce the sub-topic of the paragraph (phronesis).

A high-flow topic sentence:  Another fundamental concept in Virtue Ethics is phronesis.

This sentence refers to the essay topic (virtue ethics), acknowledges that this is an additional concept that build on the previous paragraph, and introduces the topic of this paragraph (phronesis).

Flow from one sentence to another

Well-constructed paragraphs have high connections between sentences. In general sentences that promote flow should:

  • reference the topic of the previous sentence;
  • add new information in the second half; and
  • use topic words.

The following paragraph example can be considered high-flow. It includes sentences that reference the previous sentence ( underlined ), add new information ( maroon ) and use topic words ( green ).

Another fundamental concept in Virtue Ethics is phronesis. According to Aristotle, phronesis is a form of practical wisdom through which individuals make principled decisions in line with virtues such as courage and honesty (reference). Its practical nature means that phronesis can only be developed over a lifetime of carefully considered actions and sober reflection . This practice builds a person’s moral character, allowing them to make morally-defensible choices even in unfamiliar and complex situations (reference). In other words, it is a kind of social and professional skill, which at first requires conscious effort and can still result in mistakes. However, through discipline and persistence, it becomes second nature. As a result, practitioners consistently act wisely and in accordance with the virtues they uphold . Their wise actions further strengthen their own character and contribute to human fulfilment at both individual and community levels (reference). 

Transition words that improve flow

Transition words help make the relationships and connections between ideas clear. Some examples of helpful transition words and phrases for various types of connections include:

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Success Now! workshops are available live online or on campus. Register here for workshops on research and writing . You can also organise an individual consultation here to talk to a learning advisor about planning your assignments.

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Einen wissenschaftlichen Essay an der Uni schreiben

Veröffentlicht am 30. April 2021 von Lea Genau . Aktualisiert am 26. Jänner 2023.

In einem wissenschaftlichen Essay geht es darum, deinen persönlichen Standpunkt zu einem ausgewählten Thema wiederzugeben. In der Regel hat das Thema bzw. die Fragestellung des Essays einen unmittelbaren Bezug zu deinem Studiengang. 

Das Verfassen eines wissenschaftlichen Essays ist vor allem in geisteswissenschaftlichen oder sozialwissenschaftlichen Fächern Teil des Lehrplans.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Das ist ein wissenschaftlicher essay, aufbau eines wissenschaftlichen essays, essay vs. hausarbeit, checkliste für deinen wissenschaftlichen essay, häufig gestellte fragen.

Ein wissenschaftlicher Essay setzt sich kritisch mit einem konkreten Thema oder einer Fragestellung auseinander, bei der die eigene Meinung wiedergegeben werden darf. 

In einem wissenschaftlichen Essay geht es darum, den eigenen Standpunkt zu vertreten. Die eigene Meinung sollte dabei unbedingt durch ausreichend Fachlektüre reflektiert werden. 

Die Anforderungen an einen wissenschaftlichen Essay unterscheiden sich je nach Hochschule und Fach des Studiums. Meist werden wissenschaftliche Essays in den Geisteswissenschaften, wie in der Germanistik oder Philosophie, oder auch in sozialwissenschaftlichen Studiengängen geschrieben. 

Beachte beim Schreiben des Essays immer die konkreten Vorgaben deiner Hochschule. Ein philosophischer Essay z. B. kann häufig freier verfasst werden als z. B. ein sprachwissenschaftlicher Essay. 

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Zu deiner Korrektur

Auch wenn der Aufbau eines Essays grundsätzlich freier ist als der einer Hausarbeit, folgt er einem ebenso klaren Aufbau.

Ein Essay gliedert sich in:

Halte dich beim Essayschreiben unbedingt an diese Einteilung. Ein Deckblatt ist bei einem Essay vorhanden, ein Inhaltsverzeichnis enthält ein Essay jedoch nicht.

In der Einleitung führst du in das Thema, die Fragestellung und deren Relevanz ein.

Du kannst darauf hinweisen, welchen persönlichen Bezugspunkt du mit der im Essay behandelten Thematik hast. Dabei können dir folgende Fragen helfen.

  • Was beschäftigt mich im Hinblick auf das Thema XY?
  • Was ärgert mich in Bezug auf das Thema XY?

Der Hauptteil eines wissenschaftlichen Essays besteht meist aus These – Antithese – Synthese. 

Die häufigste Form des wissenschaftlichen Essays ist der argumentative Essay. Du gibst Pro- und Kontra-Argumente für die diskutierte These wieder.

Diese Argumente können wissenschaftliche Fakten oder Beispiele aus der Literatur sein, die du zum Thema gelesen hast. Daraus ziehst du als Synthese deine reflektierte eigene Meinung.

Eine strukturierte Argumentation ist wichtig. Auch wenn ein Essay freier aufgebaut ist als eine Hausarbeit, muss dennoch ein roter Faden zu erkennen sein. 

  • Hat die Nutzung des Internets einen negativen Einfluss auf die Bildung?

Der Schluss des Essays dient dazu, kurz die wichtigsten Erkenntnisse aus dem Hauptteil zusammenzufassen.

Du kannst offene Fragen zur behandelten Thematik anbringen und Lösungsvorschläge anbieten. 

  • Besonders wichtig ist es, das Thema XY zukünftig auch aus der Perspektive X zu betrachten.
  • Offen bleibt die Frage, …

Ein wissenschaftlicher Essay kann am besten in Abgrenzung zu einer wissenschaftlichen Hausarbeit definiert werden. Der Aufbau einer Hausarbeit ähnelt dem Essay, der Stil und die Sprache sind jedoch grundsätzlich verschieden. 

Wir haben dir eine Checkliste erstellt, die du zum Essay schreiben an der Uni nutzen kannst. 

  • Ich habe ein Thema für den Essay ausgesucht bzw. eine Fragestellung festgelegt und eine geeignete Überschrift ausgewählt.
  • Ich habe eine Einleitung verfasst, die die Lesenden in das Thema einführt.
  • Ich habe genügend Literatur gelesen, um meine eigene Meinung reflektiert darzustellen und zu begründen, bevor ich den Hauptteil verfasst habe.
  • Im Hauptteil liefere ich Argumente für und gegen meinen Standpunkt. Ein roter Faden in der Argumentation ist jederzeit zu erkennen.
  • Ich verwende Beispiele und ausreichend Quellen (je nach Studiengang unterschiedlich), um meine Argumente im Hauptteil zu belegen.
  • Am Schluss des Essays ziehe ich ein Fazit aus meinen Überlegungen und komme zu einer abschließenden Beurteilung.
  • Mein Essay ist bei erneutem Lesen inhaltlich und logisch schlüssig aufgebaut.

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essay uni quellen

Einen Essay für die Uni schreibst du in der Regel in Form eines wissenschaftlichen Essays.

In diesem setzt du dich mit einer konkreten Thematik oder Fragestellung auseinander und nutzt Pro- und Kontra-Argumente, um deine eigene Meinung darzustellen.

Ein wissenschaftlicher Essay setzt sich kritisch mit einem konkreten Thema oder einer Fragestellung auseinander, bei der die eigene Meinung wiedergegeben werden darf. Die häufigste Form des wissenschaftlichen Essays ist der argumentative Essay.

Ein wissenschaftlicher Essay und eine Hausarbeit unterscheiden sich unter anderem in ihrer Länge, ihrem Stil und ihrer Sprache. Ein Essay ist kürzer und enthält eine subjektive Meinung, eine Hausarbeit hingegen ist immer objektiv und vertritt einen wissenschaftlichen Standpunkt.

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Genau, L. (2023, 26. Jänner). Einen wissenschaftlichen Essay an der Uni schreiben. Scribbr. Abgerufen am 22. April 2024, von https://www.scribbr.at/ein-essay-at/wissenschaftliches-essay-uni/

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How to Write the Perfect Essay

06 Feb, 2024 | Blog Articles , English Language Articles , Get the Edge , Humanities Articles , Writing Articles

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You can keep adding to this plan, crossing bits out and linking the different bubbles when you spot connections between them. Even though you won’t have time to make a detailed plan under exam conditions, it can be helpful to draft a brief one, including a few key words, so that you don’t panic and go off topic when writing your essay.

If you don’t like the mind map format, there are plenty of others to choose from: you could make a table, a flowchart, or simply a list of bullet points.

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Thanks for signing up, step 2: have a clear structure.

Think about this while you’re planning: your essay is like an argument or a speech. It needs to have a logical structure, with all your points coming together to answer the question.

Start with the basics! It’s best to choose a few major points which will become your main paragraphs. Three main paragraphs is a good number for an exam essay, since you’ll be under time pressure. 

If you agree with the question overall, it can be helpful to organise your points in the following pattern:

  • YES (agreement with the question)
  • AND (another YES point)
  • BUT (disagreement or complication)

If you disagree with the question overall, try:

  • AND (another BUT point)

For example, you could structure the Of Mice and Men sample question, “To what extent is Curley’s wife portrayed as a victim in Of Mice and Men ?”, as follows:

  • YES (descriptions of her appearance)
  • AND (other people’s attitudes towards her)
  • BUT (her position as the only woman on the ranch gives her power as she uses her femininity to her advantage)

If you wanted to write a longer essay, you could include additional paragraphs under the YES/AND categories, perhaps discussing the ways in which Curley’s wife reveals her vulnerability and insecurities, and shares her dreams with the other characters. Alternatively, you could also lengthen your essay by including another BUT paragraph about her cruel and manipulative streak.

Of course, this is not necessarily the only right way to answer this essay question – as long as you back up your points with evidence from the text, you can take any standpoint that makes sense.

Smiling student typing on laptop

Step 3: Back up your points with well-analysed quotations

You wouldn’t write a scientific report without including evidence to support your findings, so why should it be any different with an essay? Even though you aren’t strictly required to substantiate every single point you make with a quotation, there’s no harm in trying.

A close reading of your quotations can enrich your appreciation of the question and will be sure to impress examiners. When selecting the best quotations to use in your essay, keep an eye out for specific literary techniques. For example, you could highlight Curley’s wife’s use of a rhetorical question when she says, a”n’ what am I doin’? Standin’ here talking to a bunch of bindle stiffs.” This might look like:

The rhetorical question “an’ what am I doin’?” signifies that Curley’s wife is very insecure; she seems to be questioning her own life choices. Moreover, she does not expect anyone to respond to her question, highlighting her loneliness and isolation on the ranch.

Other literary techniques to look out for include:

  • Tricolon – a group of three words or phrases placed close together for emphasis
  • Tautology – using different words that mean the same thing: e.g. “frightening” and “terrifying”
  • Parallelism – ABAB structure, often signifying movement from one concept to another
  • Chiasmus – ABBA structure, drawing attention to a phrase
  • Polysyndeton – many conjunctions in a sentence
  • Asyndeton – lack of conjunctions, which can speed up the pace of a sentence
  • Polyptoton – using the same word in different forms for emphasis: e.g. “done” and “doing”
  • Alliteration – repetition of the same sound, including assonance (similar vowel sounds), plosive alliteration (“b”, “d” and “p” sounds) and sibilance (“s” sounds)
  • Anaphora – repetition of words, often used to emphasise a particular point

Don’t worry if you can’t locate all of these literary devices in the work you’re analysing. You can also discuss more obvious techniques, like metaphor, simile and onomatopoeia. It’s not a problem if you can’t remember all the long names; it’s far more important to be able to confidently explain the effects of each technique and highlight its relevance to the question.

Person reading a book outside

Step 4: Be creative and original throughout

Anyone can write an essay using the tips above, but the thing that really makes it “perfect” is your own unique take on the topic. If you’ve noticed something intriguing or unusual in your reading, point it out – if you find it interesting, chances are the examiner will too!

Creative writing and essay writing are more closely linked than you might imagine. Keep the idea that you’re writing a speech or argument in mind, and you’re guaranteed to grab your reader’s attention.

It’s important to set out your line of argument in your introduction, introducing your main points and the general direction your essay will take, but don’t forget to keep something back for the conclusion, too. Yes, you need to summarise your main points, but if you’re just repeating the things you said in your introduction, the body of the essay is rendered pointless.

Think of your conclusion as the climax of your speech, the bit everything else has been leading up to, rather than the boring plenary at the end of the interesting stuff.

To return to Of Mice and Men once more, here’s an example of the ideal difference between an introduction and a conclusion:

Introduction

In John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men , Curley’s wife is portrayed as an ambiguous character. She could be viewed either as a cruel, seductive temptress or a lonely woman who is a victim of her society’s attitudes. Though she does seem to wield a form of sexual power, it is clear that Curley’s wife is largely a victim. This interpretation is supported by Steinbeck’s description of her appearance, other people’s attitudes, her dreams, and her evident loneliness and insecurity.
Overall, it is clear that Curley’s wife is a victim and is portrayed as such throughout the novel in the descriptions of her appearance, her dreams, other people’s judgemental attitudes, and her loneliness and insecurities. However, a character who was a victim and nothing else would be one-dimensional and Curley’s wife is not. Although she suffers in many ways, she is shown to assert herself through the manipulation of her femininity – a small rebellion against the victimisation she experiences.

Both refer back consistently to the question and summarise the essay’s main points. However, the conclusion adds something new which has been established in the main body of the essay and complicates the simple summary which is found in the introduction.

Hannah

Hannah is an undergraduate English student at Somerville College, University of Oxford, and has a particular interest in postcolonial literature and the Gothic. She thinks literature is a crucial way of developing empathy and learning about the wider world. When she isn’t writing about 17th-century court masques, she enjoys acting, travelling and creative writing. 

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What Is the Rwanda Policy? U.K.’s Plan for Asylum Seekers Explained

The plan has been in the works for years, but the passage of a contentious bill by Britain’s Parliament puts the country closer to sending asylum seekers to the African nation.

Rishi Sunak sits at a table flanked by ministers.

By Megan Specia

Reporting from London

After a prolonged battle in the courts and in Parliament, Britain’s Conservative government secured passage of legislation on Monday that is intended to allow the country to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.

The legislation is intended to override a Supreme Court ruling last year that deemed the plan to send asylum seekers to the African nation unlawful . The judges ruled that Rwanda was not a safe country in which refugees could resettle or have their asylum cases heard.

The Rwanda plan, which has become a flagship policy of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at a time when his party’s approval ratings have floundered, now seems closer than ever to becoming a reality. But critics say it raises profound questions about the rule of law and the separation of powers in Britain, and could impact thousands of asylum seekers. Rights groups have vowed to fight the plan in the courts.

Here’s what to know.

What is the Rwanda policy?

As the number of asylum seekers arriving across the English Channel rose after a lull during the coronavirus pandemic, the Conservative government pledged to “stop the boats.” Most of those arriving by small, often unseaworthy boats apply for international protection in Britain through the asylum system, and many are later found to be refugees and permitted to settle in Britain.

Through a series of bills and agreements, the government introduced a policy that said that people arriving by small boat or any another “irregular means” would never be admissible for asylum in Britain. Instead, they would be detained and sent to Rwanda, where their asylum cases would be heard, and if successful, they would be resettled there.

The government has argued that the Rwanda policy will be a deterrent, stemming the flow of tens of thousands of people who make dangerous crossings from France to Britain each year. This has been questioned by some migration experts who say that the people on small boats already risk their lives to travel to Britain.

Rights groups and legal experts have warned against implementing the policy, saying it contravenes Britain’s legal obligations to refugees under international law and violates the 1951 U.N. Refugee Convention .

How did we get here?

In early 2021 , Boris Johnson, then prime minister, began floating plans to send asylum seekers abroad. Taking control of Britain’s borders was a central promise of the 2016 Brexit campaign, championed by Mr. Johnson and Mr. Sunak.

In the summer of 2021, Priti Patel, then the minister responsible for overseeing immigration and asylum, introduced the Nationality and Borders Bill , making it a criminal offense to enter the country by irregular means, for instance by boat and without a visa. The bill also gave the authorities more scope to make arrests and remove asylum seekers .

By April 2022, Britain announced a deal with Rwanda to send asylum seekers there in exchange for hundreds of millions in development funding, and the Nationality and Borders Bill became law later that month.

But amid legal challenges and a last-minute interim decision by the European Court of Human Rights, the first planned flight in 2022 was halted . By early 2023, Suella Braverman, the home secretary then, revived the plan with the Illegal Migration Bill.

That legislation, which became law last July, gave her office a duty to remove nearly all asylum seekers who arrived in Britain “illegally” — meaning, without a visa or through other means, like covert arrivals by small boat or truck. (In practice, many of these asylum seekers would not be arriving illegally since genuine refugees have a right to enter and claim international protection.)

The asylum seekers would then be sent to their home countries, “or another safe third country, such as Rwanda.” No matter the outcome of their claims, they would have no right to re-entry, settlement or citizenship in Britain.

These efforts were all challenged in the courts, ending with the Supreme Court ruling that deemed the plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda unlawful.

The Safety of Rwanda Bill and a treaty with the African nation earlier this year are intended to override the court’s judgment by declaring Rwanda safe in law, and instructing judges and immigration officials to treat it as such.

How much has Britain spent on the plan?

Although no asylum seekers have yet been sent to Rwanda, Britain’s independent public spending watchdog last month found that the government will have paid Rwanda £370 million , or around $457 million, by the end of 2024. And costs to implement the policy will rise even further if flights do take off.

For each person eventually sent, Britain has pledged to pay Rwanda an additional £20,000 in development fees, plus £150,874 per person for operational costs. After the first 300 people are sent, Britain will send an additional £120 million to Rwanda.

Yvette Cooper, the opposition Labour minister responsible for a portfolio that includes migration, on Tuesday called the cost “extortionate” and argued that the money should be put into “boosting our border security instead.”

What has been the reaction to the plan?

The policy has faced intense opposition almost since its inception, with the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, warning in 2021 that it violated international law.

On Tuesday, Filippo Grandi, the UNHCR commissioner, said the law seeks to “shift responsibility for refugee protection, undermining international cooperation and setting a worrying global precedent.”

Michael O’Flaherty, the Council of Europe’s commissioner for Human Rights, said the bill “raises major issues about the human rights of asylum seekers and the rule of law more generally,” and urged Britain to “refrain from removing people under the policy and reverse the bill’s “effective infringement of judicial independence.”

When could the first deportation flights take off?

Mr. Sunak initially promised to deport asylum seekers by the spring, but on Monday he said the first flights would not depart until June or July.

He said the government had put an airfield on standby, booked commercial charter planes and identified 500 trained escorts who would accompany asylum seekers to Rwanda.

However, legal experts say the plan is deeply flawed, and rights groups have vowed to fight any plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.

Richard Atkinson, the vice president of the Law Society of England and Wales, a professional association for lawyers, said in a statement on Tuesday that the bill “remains a defective, constitutionally improper piece of legislation.”

On Tuesday, more than 250 British rights organizations wrote to Mr. Sunak vowing to fight the measures in the European and British courts.

Individuals who do receive notices that they will be sent to Rwanda are expected to launch legal challenges against their removal in British courts, and some may also appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, which could again issue an injunction to halt flights.

Nick Cumming-Bruce contributed reporting from Geneva.

Megan Specia reports on Britain, Ireland and the Ukraine war for The Times. She is based in London. More about Megan Specia

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